Tea is the latest drink to be experimented with. From serving the traditional cuppa to pouring them from a shaker.

Tea. For some it is the morning cup and for some it is ‘cups followed by cups’. It has cheered people in various forms — be it the basic red, milky, green, black and white, or herbed variety or the indigenous chai prepared in sulemani, khadi, masala, or Irani style. The list is endless. The thing about tea is, every household has his its own way to brewing and in some cases it won’t be too incorrect to use the term preparing.

Keeping in mind the changing preferences of tea and tea time, Hyderabad is slowly but positively opening up to high teas or better to say, to a menu that serves tea with appropriate accompaniments. Adding to the latest list of high tea come cocktails and mocktails prepared from flavoured tea. Some like to keep their signatures and offer a variety of tea from the tea specialists - China - in which one blooms in a pot after it stands for a good amount of time. This tea is Ohm’s treat to your eye, as you wait for your orders to come. This however, isn’t purely high tea stuff; this brew goes well with food too. Ohm is the oriental speciality restaurant at Hotel Avasa in hi-tech city.

Move from having tea with the main course to tea as a course in itself. How about being party to an evening where you are served tea in the English tradition, with loose tea steeped in individual teapots and poured through sterling silver strainers, into bone china teacups?

Or how about a Boston high tea where the signature features come with classics such as baked lemon cheese cake, chocolate praline pastry, kiwi -dragon food tart, raisin and bitter orange scones served with homemade preserves and fresh cream, choco-chip madelines, Pesto palmiers, salmon and creamed cheese?

In a bid to cater to the growing crowd of tea lovers, the tea lounge at Taj Krishna added to one’s enjoyment of high tea with goodies including some scones and mini-sized sandwiches to almond biscottis. Not to forget the mini pastries. The choice of tea is exhaustive — the menu gives the option of a tea platter that comes with a choice of a pot of tea and assorted accompaniments. The exotic brews offer kahwa and white tea as well.

Tea definitely could be latest the hot selling item on the menu for now, but it isn’t necessary that it be served steaming hot. So, now we have tea mocktails and cocktails. The reason behind getting the taste for exotic brews and the tea culture is the changing mindset of people. “Tea is the new drink to be experimented with, as coffee has almost hit the saturation point with experiments,” says a tea brewer at a luxury hotel. The fun part about experimenting with tea as a drink lies in its nature of allowing flavours and fragrance to blend well with it. “This is the reason why we can offer or suggest our guests or tea connoisseurs to have a vanilla tea mocktail,” says the bar tender at The t-Bar at Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel. Or how about a t-shot or a t-shake.

Ambience definitely plays an important role, so at The Park, chah bar makes the electronic tea pot looks like a thing of the past and instead makes the desi ketli or the kettle the chic thing to have in your kitchen. What do they serve? Teas of your choice with mini snacks to go. An ideal package for some gup-shup over chai. If these sounds too fancy and you want a simple desi cuppa at a fancy setting, it is the Chai Shop. Here the tea comes to you in a glass, a-la cutting chai isshtyle. The choices here are total desi and most popular is its masala chai.

In the meantime, if you are not sure of when to begin pouring your tea from the tea pot, ask for a timer. This suggests the time it remains in the pot.

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